2022: Calibrate’s Portfolio Companies Thrived as AI Hit a Tipping Point

December 16, 2022 / Jason Schoettler and Kevin Dunlap

When we look back at 2022, the entire Calibrate team is grateful for the relationships we’ve built with some of the world’s most talented technical founders. It has been exciting and rewarding to work closely with and support them as they build world-class AI and deep tech companies.

Certainly, 2022 was an uncertain time for many companies. Economic headwinds introduced new challenges. Yet our portfolio companies largely grew and prospered. In 2022, Calibrate’s existing portfolio companies collectively raised over $200 million in new funding, underlining the strong market for AI and deep tech automation. During an economic downturn, demand for AI and automation increases, with companies of all types looking to invest in technologies that make them more cost-efficient. In our portfolio, companies like Built Robotics (construction tech), Talage (insurance-tech), FarmWise (ag-tech), Soft Robotics (food production tech), Parallel Domain (synthetic and generative data), GrayMatter Robotics (manufacturing tech), and Diveplane (AI tools) announced significant follow-on rounds.

All this year, Calibrate continued investing at a steady clip. We made five new investments and eight follow-ons in 2022 and have a quality stream of upcoming financings in the works. This past year, we met with hundreds of talented founders building the next generation of automation technologies. Many top technical minds left large companies and have reached out to us about deep tech startups they’re building. We see the tech stack underpinning AI from the machine learning applications down to the silicon innovating and improving at an accelerating pace.

This year we organized and launched a new industry event called Edge of Now, or EON, to debate what’s next in AI. EON 2022 was an intimate, invite-only gathering of the most innovative minds working in AI and featured three days of talks led by AI practitioners at companies such as Disney, Toyota, Sony, and J.P. Morgan Chase. Expert breakout discussions and peer-to-peer conversations among AI builders and practitioners shaped a tone of collaboration, exploration, and networking. It was a huge success and we’re already planning for a bigger and better EON 2023.

When we started Calibrate in 2017, we had a vision: create an early-stage venture firm that would offer expert, hands-on guidance to exceptional entrepreneurs building and scaling deep tech companies. We wanted to back founders with incredible imagination and technical skills committed to changing the world. And that has more than come true. Having closed our second fund last December, we’re actively helping build the next generation of AI and automation leaders. We can’t wait to see what 2023 brings!